Thursday, December 19, 2013

Easy and Fun — Printing With Gelli Arts® on Tags!

Gelli® prints make great tags, cards and ATCs! Watch this video demonstration for ideas on creating fun small prints!

When you print on paper that's smaller than the painted gel plate, you're creating a bleed print. That means the printed image is the entire paper, right up to and including the edges ... no borders.

Making a bleed print — or in this case, printing tags — couldn't be easier:
    1. Place your tags on the painted gel plate
    2. Place a cover sheet over the plate
    3. Rub to transfer the paint
    4. Remove the cover sheet
    5. Pull your printed tags

The cover sheet picks up the paint from the areas on the plate that weren't covered by the tag. In fact, the cover sheet is a masked print of the negative space around the tags. 

Also — use the cover sheets to pick up the ghost image after the tags are removed ... and you'll see how interesting cover sheets can become!

Cover sheets make great beginnings, so keep using them over and over. 

And here's a fun technique for adding rubber stamped images to gel printed tags!

This technique calls for some unprinted areas on your tags. You can achieve this simply with torn paper masks. Follow these easy steps for fun results!

  1. Apply acrylic paint to the plate and roll out with a brayer.
  2. Place torn pieces of paper (masks) onto the painted plate, which will create unprinted areas in your print.
  3. Leave masks on the plate and place the tags onto the painted plate.
  4. Cover the plate with a sheet of paper that's larger than the plate.
  5. Rub the paper to transfer the paint — and remove the cover sheet. (keep using the cover sheet as long as the paint is dry)
  6. Remove the tags and let the paint dry completely.
TIP:  Acrylic paint acts as a resist. It must be completely dry before continuing to the next step.

Ink a stamp with a dye stamp pad (such as Distress or Adirondack — both by Ranger) — and stamp onto the masked area on your tag. The stamped image can overlap onto painted areas.

With a damp paper towel, wipe stamped ink off the acrylic paint. Acrylic paint resists the stamp pad ink, and the stamped image will remain only in the masked area. 

Note: The stamp ink may smear or blend into the unpainted paper, giving it color! The stamp image remains.

It's fun to continue embellishing the stamp images with colored pencils or markers. But for special glittery effects, try the Wink of Stella brush pens by Zig! They add a subtle touch of superfine glitter ... and offer the easiest way to add some sparkle to your print! With no mess! The brush tip allows for delicate lines as well as broader coverage. They can lend a touch of magic to a small print, like a tag!

Want to give it a try? Our extra-fun giveaway will have you making sparkly tags in no time!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

We have a winner! The random generator picked Vicki Romaine! Congrats to Vicki and a huge THANKS to all who commented and shared their fun artwork with us over the past few days on our FB page. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!


This fabulous prize package includes:

      • One (1) — 6" x 6" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
      • One (1) — Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer
      • One (1) — set of three (3) Wink of Stella Brush Markers
      • One (1) — set of four (4) clear stamps by Inkadinkadoo
      • One (1) — Distress Ink Pad
      • Two (2) — Rubbing Plates by Cedar Canyon
      • Twenty (20) — Blank Manilla Tags

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment HERE ON THE BLOG!!

Comments (as your entry!) will be accepted until 12pm (noon) EST Monday, December 23rd. Leave your comment NOW!!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

We have a winner! The random generator picked Vicki Romaine! Congrats to Vicki and a huge THANKS to all who commented and shared their fun artwork with us over the past few days on our FB page.

One lucky winner will be selected AT RANDOM and announced no later than 5pm EST on Monday, December 23rd. The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

For more wonderful examples of Gelli printed Tags or ATC's, check out our Pinterest Boards loaded with thousands of examples from Gelli printers who live all over the world. Please share your Gelli printed Tags or ATC's with us on Facebook too!

Good luck ... and Happy Printing!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Printing with Gelli Arts® + Masking Fluid!

Masking fluid provides unique and creative possibilities for printing with Gelli®. Watch this video to see how it works!

Masks are used as a barrier between the paint on the gel plate and the printing paper. The purpose is to block the transfer of paint from the plate to the paper in selective areas. 

It's easy to cut a paper mask to the shape you want to block out on your print — or use a found object or stencil as a mask. (See previous blog tutorial for more information on using paper masks!)

But what if you want to mask handwriting, or a gestural line, or drawn symbols, or small random marks? 

That's when using masking fluid is the way to go!

Gelli print with masked marks
Masking fluid (also called liquid frisket) is a fluid solution that dries to a rubbery film. It creates a barrier — and paint applied over it is easily removed by peeling it off.

Watercolorists use masking fluid for preserving selective areas of the white of the paper — or for preserving areas in a layer of color that will be painted over. 

Good news! Masking fluid can be used for gel printing too!

You can apply masking fluid directly to your unprinted paper. 

Masking fluid preserves areas of the white of the paper in a Gelli® print

When applied onto a printed layer — masking fluid will preserve the color under it.

Masking fluid applied over a printed layer preserves the color of that layer

These steps explain the process:

1. Pull a print to add color to the paper. (This is the color you'll see when the mask is removed)

2.  When the print is completely dry, apply the masking fluid to the paper. 
Masking fluid applied over a Gelli print

3.  Allow the masking fluid to dry completely! Thin areas dry quickly, but thick areas or blobs can take a while.

4. When the mask is completely dry — you can print on the paper as usual. 
Dry masking fluid on Gelli® print

5. You can print multiple layers over the masking fluid! The mask can be removed even when there's quite a bit of paint covering it!
Several layers printed over dry masking fluid

IMPORTANT:  The print must be completely dry before the next step.

6.  When the paint is fully dry, gently rub the mask off the paper. You can use a rubber cement pick-up, or gently rub with a clean finger to remove it. The stretchy, rubbery mask will ball up and can be pulled off.
The print is dry and ready for the masking fluid to be peeled off

Important Information and Tips for Using Masking Fluid:
  • Do NOT use a good brush to apply the masking fluid. It will ruin your brush.  
  • A disposable brush is recommended. 
  • If using a brush, dip it in soapy water to help it flow.
  • An eyedropper is easy and fun to use — but it isn't good for controlling fine lines. And it tends to leave blobs (which can be artful!).
  • You can keep adding different layers of masking fluid as you build up layers on your print. Just remember you'll need to let the mask dry and the paint dry completely each time.
  • It's best to peel off the masking soon after your print is completely dry.
  • As with any new art material, it's best to experiment before applying it to an important piece.

For success with masking fluid ... always keep in mind:

The masking fluid must be completely dry before you print over it.

The print must be completely dry before you remove the masking fluid.

Gelli® print (after masking fluid is removed)

And one more fun thing … after you pull a print, the relief from the dry masking fluid can sometimes leaves a nice imprint in the paint left on the gel plate. Quickly pull that ghost print for another cool image! And the ghost is right-reading! (See previous blog tutorial for more information on Ghost Printing!)

Ghost print
Have fun exploring the creative possibilities using masking fluid with gel printing. Consider it another great tool for making your mark!

And now we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY to get you excited about using masking fluid ... on our NEW 8'' ROUND GELLI® PLATE!!!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our random generator chose #326  which belongs to 
(blogger name) "RuthArt" !!

Our fabulous prize includes the following:

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until this WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27th at 5:00pm EST!! Leave your comment now!

One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced no later than Thursday morning, Nov 28th at 10am.  (Yes - Thanksgiving morning!!) The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

Good luck ... and Happy Printing!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Monoprinting on a Round Gelli® Plate!

There's something universally appealing about the round shape and all it symbolizes. Take a look at this video and see the beauty of printing on the NEW 8” Round Gelli® Plate.

It's inspiring to work on a circular plate surface! In an instant, ideas come to mind: the sun, the moon, our planet Earth, infinity, wholeness, unity, the cycle of life, mandalas, the wheel, bubbles, Venn diagrams. And that's just for starters!

With no beginning and no end — the circle shape signifies eternity. All there is. Endless possibilities!

The round plate provides new opportunities to explore themes. And before you know it — you may find yourself working on a series inspired simply by the shape of the plate!

When you work on a gel printed series, one print informs the next. And one quick way to start working on a series is to use a mask or masks — and repeat images. 

The most interesting masked prints are often the ghost prints — after the mask has been removed.

For in-depth information on using masks, please take a look at the blog post: 

The stencil and masks used in this video are from Green Pepper Press, designed by Michelle Ward. 

Green Pepper Press Stencil & Masks set. From The Frond Collection

Not only do you get the wonderful stencil ... you get the cut-outs as well! 

So you also get a set of masks! 

GPP stencil and mask sets are so perfect for printing with Gelli Arts®! 

Double the fun!!!

Instead of a series of individual prints — consider overlapping circular prints on a larger piece of paper to create a unified piece. 

Detail from 11'x14" Gel Print

To create this piece:

The 8" round imprints are overlapped on a piece of 11"x14" Strathmore Bristol

The paint is Golden OPEN Acrylic! It easily rolls out in a thin layer and is perfect for printing highly detailed images with masks!

The Golden OPEN Acrylics palette used includes:

Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Quinacridone Magenta 
Manganese Blue Hue 

These vibrant pigments mix cleanly and have wonderful transparency. So when the printed images overlap, they produce beautiful new colors!

Since these masks are part of a matching stencil set, you can go back into the prints using the stencils — using sprays, stamp inks applied with blending tools and stipple brushes, colored pencils, and so on. 

You can also create interesting prints by layering different colors and slightly moving the masks for each layer. That'll give you an interesting out-of-registration print like this :)

Multi-layered,  masked print on deli paper.

So get inspired! Experience the joy of printing on the 
NEW Round Gelli® Plate!!!

And now…

This Contest is officially CLOSED

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our random generator chose #604 which belongs to 
(blogger name) "Kristi Matta Heather Kromer" from Standish Maine!! 

The Giveaway includes the following items!

All you need to do to be entered to win is: 
  1. Post a comment HERE on our blog - easy!
  2. If you don't already, please subscribe to our Gelli Arts® blog. (Note - subscribing is NOT a requirement to win the giveaway!).

Entries (via comments on this blog) will be accepted until 5pm EDT, Tuesday, Oct 22nd!

One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced no later than 10am Wednesday October 23rd. The winner will be announced here on the blog (in the comments section of this blog post) and on our Facebook page!

A special thanks to Michelle Ward for generously providing the Stencil & Mask Sets from Green Pepper Press!

Please feel free to spread the word about the NEW Round Gelli® Plate with others via Pinterest (just hover over the blog images to see the 'pin it' button!), your blog or share from our Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Printing with Gelli Arts® — Techniques on Fabric!!!

In this video you'll see the 12" x 14" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate in action! Printing on fabric with acrylic and metallic fabric paints, using MagicStamps™ — with plenty of tips and techniques!

Many monoprinting techniques work just as well on fabric as they do on paper. Watch this video and see how fun and easy it is to make your own printed fabric!

Love using fabric in your art? Try printing your own unique designs!

Gel printing on various types of fabric
Fabrics with a tight weave, like muslin and PFD cottons, are excellent choices.

Sheer fabrics, like organza and silk Habotai can be monoprinted and used in layered works to great effect!

NOTE: PFD fabrics means "Prepared for Dyeing"

Dharma Trading Co. is an excellent source for various PFD fabrics — as well as printable scarves and garments.

The process and techniques for monoprinting on fabric are the same as printing on paper. 

Instead of pulling a print on paper ... place your fabric on a painted Gelli® plate, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print. It's as simple as that!

Monoprinted fabric
It can be helpful to iron your fabric first to remove any wrinkles, but not necessary. 

You also might want to stabilize your fabric before printing on it.

To do this, simply iron the WRONG side of the fabric to the SHINY (plastic) side of a piece of freezer paper. 

The fabric will temporarily bond to the freezer paper.

To release, just pull the fabric off the backing — so

NOTE:  If the fabric surface has bubbles when ironed onto freezer paper, iron on the fabric side and smooth them out. 

Monoprinting on stabilized fabric feels a lot like printing on paper.  

You may find it easier to stamp, draw or paint directly on your fabric when it's backed with freezer paper.

Stabilizing fabric is completely optional — a personal preference!

You may not feel the need to take the extra step to stabilize muslin or sturdier fabrics, but I do recommend stabilizing sheer fabrics.  

Stabilizing makes sheers much easier to handle in the printing process. Also, it keeps the paint that bleeds through the sheer fabric off your hands :) 

Silk Habotai 5mm — so sheer and lightweight — with a lustrous finish

Sheer fabrics, like silk Habotai, are wonderful for layering and collage. 

This is a monoprinted piece of silk Habotai 5mm. 

It's draped over a sheet of printed paper to show how translucent and lightweight it is!

Try fusing your printed sheer fabric over text for a muted, layered effect! Lovely and ethereal.

Mistyfuse is ideal for fusing sheer fabrics!

When printing on fabric, you have many choices for paint. Acrylic paints, fabric paints and water-based screen-printing inks are all good. 

Assorted fabric paints

Various brands of fabric medium are available — and can turn any acrylic paint into fabric paint!

Golden's GAC 900 is an excellent fabric medium.

Add GAC 900 to any acrylic paint. The paint will print with a softer hand — and once heat-set, the printed fabric will have improved launderability.

IMPORTANT:  Follow the specific directions for the brand of fabric medium you use.

If you don't intend to wash the fabric after it's printed — there's no need to add fabric medium to your paint.

You may need to use a bit more paint when printing on fabric than when printing on paper. But be careful not to use too much ... it can absorb right through to the back — or create blobs when you print it!

Try using less paint when printing on sheer fabrics. 

NOTE:  It can take some experimenting to discover how different paints act on different fabrics. Same applies to learning how much paint to use!

Jacquard's Lumiere fabric paints offer a great selection of rich metallic colors.

Lumiere is positively dazzling when printed on black fabric! I find it works best with a fairly heavy layer of paint on the Gelli® plate. 

These printed fabrics are way more metallic and luminous in person than these photos depict.

When printing on fabric, use combs, stencils, masks, rubbing plates ... and your favorite texture tools for making marks!

MagicStamps™ are among my favorite fabric design tools. 

For complete step-by-step information on using these heat-moldable foam blocks, please take a look at the blog post, "When Gelli® Meets MagicStamps™" (Jan. 16, 2012) 

Gel printed fabric created with MagicStamps

NOTE:  There's also a video slideshow at the end of that post showing samples of Gel printed fabric — created with MagicStamps. It's not a tutorial ... just printed examples :)

After you've printed your fabric ...

Have fun adding writing — or your personal marks — to your monoprinted fabric!

Stained by Sharpie — Brush Tip Fabric Markers — are so perfect for this!

The brush tips allow for a range of marks — and these fabric markers won't bleed on fabric the way regular Sharpies can.

Another fabulous pen is Pentel's Gel Roller for Fabric.

This 1.0mm pigment ink pen goes on so smooth! And it's permanent.

Wonderful for fine lines and handwriting!

Handprinted fabric can add an exciting and personal touch to quilts, sewing projects, art dolls, mixed media pieces, collage, art journals, handmade books, cards, scrapbooks, and jewelry. If you haven't monoprinted on fabric ... go for it! ... and add an element of unique textiles to your artwork!

This Contest is officially CLOSED. 

And now ... 
We have a UNBELIEVABLE GIVEAWAY to get you 
super-excited about Gel printing on fabric!!!

Our AMAZING PRIZE includes:

      • One (1)  — LARGE 12"x14" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate!
      • One (1)  — MagicStamp package (8 stamp blocks)
      • Four (4) — MagicStamps (molded from my designs - ready to use!)
      • Six (6)    — Lumiere Fabric Paints
      • One (1)  — 8-color set of Stained by Sharpie - Brush Tip Fabric Markers
      • One (1)  — Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric (black)
      • One (1) — Golden GAC 900 (Fabric Painting Medium) — 8 fl. oz
– – – – – – – – – – – – –

All you need to do to be entered to win is: 
  1. Post a comment HERE on our blog - easy!
  2. If you don't already, please subscribe to our Gelli Arts® blog. (Note - subscribing is NOT a requirement to win the giveaway!).

Entries (via comments on this blog) will be accepted until 5pm EST on Tuesday, September 24th! 

One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced no later than 10:00am on Wednesday, September 25th. The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

This Contest is officially CLOSED.

If you liked this tutorial we hope that you will share with others via your Pinterest page, blog or Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

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